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Saints and Feasts of July 8

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Homily Five on the Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ (St. John Chrysostom)


Homily Five on the Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ

Ascribed to St. John Chrysostom 
(Ps. Chrysostom)

The day of the Master’s ascension is upon us. Many have travelled here, and the Father has encouraged even him, who is ill-equipped to preach. Indeed, we were thinking it would be right to cover our ineloquence with a veil of silence, and hide the magnitude of our ignorance. But because you, along with the Father and the powers above, have been urging us to address you who have assembled here in such numbers, and with them, you request that we speak about that which David long ago exclaimed concerning the ascension of the Master—“Lift up your gates, O princes, and be lifted up, O eternal gates: and the King of Glory shall enter in”—Come then, let us also celebrate the things pertaining to this day.

For today our Master Christ goes up to his father’s throne; today, he who was incarnated sits down with the Father; not that he was first separated from him, nor that he now sits with him for the first time, for he has always rested in the bosom of the Father, alone containing the Father, and alone contained by the Father. For “I”, he said, “am in the Father, and the Father in me”; and the Word is in the Father and the Word is on the earth. Not descending and leaving the Father’s bosom empty, nor ascending into heaven and leaving the earth empty of his presence; but both living together with men, and sitting together with the Father; and both sitting together with the Father, and not separated from men. For “be sure of this”, he says, “I am with you always, to the very the end of the age.” Today the Μaster Christ is taking himself away from men and into heaven; not being taken like Enoch, nor going up towards heaven in a fiery chariot like Elijah, but ascending , so that he may send the power of the Holy Spirit to his disciples.

Having seen this joyous ascension many generations ago, David prophesied, saying: God has gone up with a joyous shout, he who fashioned Adam from dust, who justified Abel, and took Enoch. God has gone up with a joyous shout, he who steered Noah, and elected Abraham faithful. God has gone up with a joyous shout, he who accepted the sacrificeless sacrifice of Isaac, and blessed Jacob abundantly. God has gone up with a joyous shout, he who lead Joseph to wander, and expected Job’s patient endurance. God has gone up with a joyous shout, he who glorified Moses, and bestowed the high priesthood on Aaron. God has gone up with a joyous shout, he who strengthened Jesus the son of Nun, and gave the gift of prophecy to Samuel. God has gone up with a joyous shout, he who fortified David, and gave wisdom to Solomon. God has gone up with a joyous shout, he who inspired the prophets, and gave gifts of healing to the apostles. God has gone up with a joyous shout, he who is without mother above, and without father below. God has gone up with a joyous shout, the eternal offspring of the Father, and the unfathered descendant of the Virgin mother. God has gone up with a joyous shout, the giver of life, and the distributor of wonders. God has gone up with a joyous shout; he who by dying put death to death, and freely gave life to mankind. “God has gone up with a joyous shout; the Lord, with the sound of a trumpet!”

To him be glory forever and ever. Amen.





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